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Italy fines Amazon $1.3B, alleging harm to outside sellers

2021-12-09 14:52 by
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Italy's antitrust watchdog said on Thursday it had fined Amazon 1.13 billion euros ($1.28 billion) for alleged abuse of market dominance, in one of the biggest penalties imposed on a US tech giant in Europe.

The Italian authority, the Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato (AGCM), details its thinking in a statement and a 250-page report. According to them, third-party sellers don't get the same treatment if they're leveraging FBA or using their own logistics stack.

Italy's AGCM authority said Amazon has required that third-party sellers use its own logistics service, called Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA), harming competitors and strengthening its own position.

Sellers who take advantage of FBA can participate in the company's paid loyalty program Amazon Prime. Subscribers get free deliveries on some products. In addition to Amazon's own inventory, products from third-party sellers that come from Amazon's warehouses thanks to FBA also get a Prime label.

Amazon said it "strongly disagreed" with Italian regulator's decision and would appeal, calling the fines and proposed remedies "unjustified and disproportionate." It noted that more than half of annual sales in Italy are from small and medium businesses that have access to other channels to sell their goods.

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